Sometimes the world turns obstacles into magic. When Dirty Projectors let us know they couldn’t make it to the band’s Tiny Desk performance until late in the day, we were sad because the clocks had recently turned back for the fall, we knew that our beautiful, natural light would be gone and it’d be dark. But with candles left over from a late-winter day performance by Rhye — and some LED panels and spots — we were set up right on time for David Longstreth to sing these words: “The sky has darkened, earth turned to hell / Some said a light got shined where darkness dwelt / So I won’t cry or collapse, overwhelmed / Time like a song just might rhyme with itself.” That song, “Right Now,” and the other two tracks from Dirty Projectors’ brilliant 2018 release Lamp Lit Prose, felt more poignant than ever.
Dirty Projectors’ eighth album is often loving and forgiving. It’s full of the quirks of production and rhythm and rhyme that had me fall for their music when I first heard it about a dozen years ago. What’s wonderful about this Tiny Desk Concert is watching these talented people arrange this complicated music without amplification and seeing the joy on their face when it all worked out. Obstacles into magic indeed.
- “That’s a Lifestyle”
- “Right Now”
- “What Is The Time?”
David Longstreth (vocals, guitar), Felicia Douglass (vocals, percussion, keys), Kristin Slipp (vocals, Rhodes, Wurlitzer), Maia Friedman (vocals, guitar), Nat Baldwin (bass), Mike Johnson (drums)
Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Kaylee Domzalski, Maia Stern, Bronson Arcuri; Production Assistant: Brie Martin; Photo: Cameron Pollack/NPR